‘His information is often so precise that many people believe he is the unofficial historian of the secret services. His books are peppered with deliberate clues to potential front-page stories’ (Sunday Times).
“The most detailed forensic analysis yet undertaken of the most notorious political document of our era. This is a painstaking, assiduous investigation that rivals Sherlock Holmes for mystery-solving, but entertains with elements of Clouseau.”
Daniel Hoffman, Former CIA Moscow Station Chief
IT was inevitable that the Allies would invade France in the summer of 1944: the Nazis just had to figure out where and when. This job fell to the Abwehr and several other German intelligence services, and between them they put over 30,000 personnel to work studying British and American signals traffic, and achieved considerable success in intercepting and decrypting enemy messages. They also sent agents to England – but they weren’t to know that none of these agents would be successful. Anxious to mislead the Axis, the Allies’ security agencies sought to protect their D-Day secrets, but feared being overwhelmed by a sudden influx of spies routed through Spain and tasked to breach Operation OVERLORD. Until now, the Nazi intelligence community has been disparaged by historians as incompetent and corrupt, but newly released declassified documents suggest this wasn’t the case and that they had a highly sophisticated system that concentrated on the threat of an Allied invasion. Written by acclaimed espionage historian Nigel West, Codeword Overlord is a vital reassessment of Axis behaviour in one of the most dramatic episodes of the twentieth century.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR saw the role of espionage, secret agents and spy services increase exponentially as the world was thrown into a truly global conflict on an unprecedented scale. At this time, very few people in government were fully aware of what MI5 and its brethren really did. But with Churchill at the country s helm, MI5 reluctantly decided to let the inquisitive prime minister in on the secret, providing him with a weekly report of the organisation s clandestine activities so highly classified that he was handed each report personally and copies were never allowed to be made, nor was he allowed to keep hold of them. However, the original documents have survived, buried deep in the archives, with many pages annotated by hand by W.S.C. himself. Here acclaimed intelligence expert Nigel West unravels the tales of previously unknown spy missions, revealing a fresh view of the worldwide intelligence scene of the Second World War, and exposing the Soviet mole who drafted Churchill s briefings. With foreword from Lord Evans of Weardale, former Director-General of MI5.
Tradecraft is the term applied to techniques used by intelligence personnel to assist them in conducting their operations and, like many other professions, the espionage business has developed its own rich lexicon.
In the real, sub rosa world of intelligence-gathering, each bit of jargon acts as a veil of secrecy over particular types of activity, and in this book acclaimed author Nigel West explains and give examples of the lingo in action. He draws on the first-hand experience of defectors to and from the Soviet Union; surveillance operators who kept terrorist suspects under observation in Northern Ireland; case officers who have put their lives at risk by pitching a target in a denied territory; the NOCs who lived under alias to spy abroad; and much more.
Turn these pages and be immersed in the real world of James Bond: assets, black operations, double agents, triple agents … it s all here.
As part of the infamous Double Cross operation, Jewish double agent Renato Levi proved to be one of the Allies’ most devastating weapons in World War Two.
In 1941, with the help of Ml6, Levi built an extensive spy-ring in North Africa and the Middle East. But, most remarkably, it was entirely fictitious. This network of imagined informants peddled dangerously false misinformation to Levis unwitting German handlers. His efforts would distort any enemy estimates of Allied battle plans for the remainder of the war.
His communications were infused with just enough truth to be palatable, and just enough imagination to make them irresistible. ln a vacuum of seemingly trustworthy sources, Levi’s enemies not only believed in the CHEESE network, as it was codenamed, but they came to depend upon it. And, by the war’s conclusion, he could boast of having helped the Allies thwart Rommel in North Africa, as well as diverting whole armies from the D-Day landing sites. He wielded great influence and, as a double agent, he was unrivalled.
Until now, Levi’s devilish deceptions and feats of derring-do have remained completely hidden. Using recently declassified files, Double Cross in Cairo uncovers the heroic exploits of one of the Second World War’s most closely guarded secrets.
In 1921, MI5 commissioned a comprehensive, top-secret review of the organisation’s operations during the First World War. Never intended for circulation outside of the government, all seven volumes of this fascinating and unique document remained locked away in MI5’s registry … until now. Recently declassified and published here for the first time, MI5 in the Great War is filled with detailed, and previously undisclosed, accounts centring on the Security Service’s activities during the conflict. The main narrative examines MI5’s various attempts to both manage and detect double agents; the detection and execution of enemy spies; its study of German pre-war espionage; and the Kaiser’s personal network of spies seeking to infiltrate British intelligence. Coinciding with the centenary of the start of the Great War, this historically significant document has been edited and brought up to date by bestselling writer and historian Nigel West, providing an extraordinary insight into the early years of MI5 and its first counterintelligence operations.
Two organisations, one collecting military information for the Kaiser, the other reporting to the Admiralstab (the German Imperial Admiralty Staff), were dedicated to the creation and management of networks of spies infiltrated into Great Britain from neutral territory, usually the United States and the Netherlands. Dozens of agents, under a variety of ingenious and plausible covers, ranging from cigar salesmen to circus and music-hall performers, traveled to London.
Responsibility for the detection of these, and many other, enemy spies, was left to the country’s principal counter-espionage agency, MI5, which was based at several offices in the West End, and led by a remarkable army officer, Vernon Kell who, despite chronic asthma and poor health single-handedly created an organization that is the forerunner of today’s Security Service, the headquarters of which are such a landmark on the Thames Embankment, overlooking Lambeth Bridge.